MANILA - The Commission on Higher Education said Thursday it was not anti-Filipino as it lauded as "decisive and timely" a Supreme Court ruling that upheld the commission's exclusion of Filipino and Panitikan in the general education curriculum of tertiary institutions.
All sectors must abide by the high court's decision, which showed that CHED did not abolish Filipino and Panitikan but transferred these to the senior high school curriculum, the commission said in a statement.
"The accusation of critics that CHED is anti-Filipino is wrong. The Commission believes in the fundamental role played by language in education. To be properly cultivated, Filipino cannot merely be taught as a subject, but must be used in oral and written forms, across academic domains," Chairman Prospero De Vera III said.
"This issue has been debated for too long and CHED calls on all sectors to respect and abide by the SC decision so that the revised curriculum for various degree programs can now be fully implemented with dispatch by the close to 2,000 Higher Education Institutions nationwide," he added.
The commission will support higher education institutions that will pursue language innovation in their curricula, which may include other Philippine and Asian languages apart from Filipino.
CHED will also provide scholarship and professional education assistance to affected Filipino and Panitikan teachers through the K to 12 Transition Program Fund, it said.
The Supreme Court over the weekend issued a resolution standing by its October 2018 ruling that upheld the validity of CHED’s Memorandum Order No. 20 which said that Filipino and Panitikan are no longer core subjects in college.
The tribunal temporarily halted CMO 20 in April 2015, but the temporary restraining order was lifted in November last year after the Supreme Court ruled that the K-12 program was constitutional.
After this latest development, the group Alyansa ng Mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) said it would once again appeal for the retention of the subjects in college.